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SC to hear Bengal govt’s appeal against Calcutta HC order on April 29

Challenging the Calcutta high court’s order, the state government, in its appeal filed before the top court, said the HC cancelled the appointments “arbitrarily” and without “any proper reasoning.”

supreme courtNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday will hear the appeal filed by the West Bengal government against the Calcutta High Court order invalidating the appointments of 25,753 teachers and non-teaching staff made in 2016 by the state’s School Service Commission (SSC).

A three-judge bench of the apex court, led by CJI DY Chandrachud and including Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, will hear the appeal of the West Bengal government after it moved the court on April 24, appealing the Calcutta HC’s judgement in the teachers’ recruitment case.

Challenging the Calcutta high court’s order, the state government, in its appeal filed before the top court, said the HC cancelled the appointments “arbitrarily” and without “any proper reasoning.”

“The high court had erred in its order. It fails to appreciate the ramifications of cancelling the entire selection process, leading to straightaway termination of teaching and non-teaching staff from service with immediate effect, without giving sufficient time to the petitioner state to deal with such an exigency, rendering the education system at a standstill,” the state government’s plea said.

The Calcutta HC, in its detailed order on April 22, declared the State Level Selection Test-2016 (SLST) recruitment procedure “null and void.”

The court had thus ordered the cancellation of all appointments made through the procedure in the government-sponsored and aided institutions in the state.

The West Bengal teachers’ recruitment case involves the selection of assistant teachers for classes 9th–10th and 11th–12th and Group C (clerks) and D posts in the state.

Candidates had to undergo a Teacher Eligibility Test (TET), an interview, and a personality test. The selection of the teachers was based on a combination of their TET scores, academic marks, interview performance, and personality test results.

But the HC, after finding that due process was not followed in the teacher’s appointment, cancelled the entire appointment procedure.

The Calcutta HC, in its order, had directed the CBI to investigate the case, including the matching of hard discs with the SSC database after the original Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheets were reportedly destroyed.

The high court held that all appointments involved were violative of Articles 14 (equality before law) and 16 (prohibiting discrimination in employment in any government office) of the Constitution.

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